Foreign Policy. Alexander Motyl: Kiev should abandon the Donbas

Renewed fighting in Eastern Ukraine «accompanied by a new, albeit faint hope for a resolution as the intention of the administration to trump to reach a comprehensive agreement with Russia that would allow the Ukrainian conflict once and for all, perhaps even restoring the territorial integrity of the country», writes in the American publication Foreign Policy, Alexander Motyl, a historian and political scientist of Ukrainian origin and a Professor of political science at Rutgers University (new Jersey). «The problem is that a settlement on those terms, declared by Ukraine, will not in its interests, and, probably, Russia is counting exactly on this» — the analyst believes.

According to Motyl, the current situation in Donbas — polusekretnye conflict «was the best option for Kiev.» «If Russia had not occupied the Donbas after the revolution of Euromaidan in 2014, Kiev was not able to take structural reforms and to build an increasingly stable and democratic state with the support of Patriotic citizens, — says the analyst. — Since the Russian occupation of the Donbas — and anti-configured Crimea have forced Moscow to shoulder the economic burden of the two depressed regions, it is not surprising that Ukraine didn’t hurry to implement the Minsk agreements and to return Donbass under his wing». Moscow, according to the historian, «continues to support economic and military by the current conflict, which has lost its charm and has become a burden».

However, it is «far from perfect balance was spoiled by the election of Donald trump, «says Motyl. Military escalation — that is, a scenario in which Putin will take advantage of the advent of the new US administration as a pretext for full-scale invasion to capture Eastern Ukraine is «unlikely, but not impossible,» muses the analyst. More likely that Putin «will use the occupied Donbass in order to extract concessions on other issues, whether the lifting of economic sanctions or cooperation to preserve the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.» «And then Putin withdraws troops from Ukraine, stop supporting the separatists and inform Kiev that he can take his territory,» suggests a moth.

Kiev will not be able to refuse such offers, but the consequences would be disastrous, says the author. Defeating the separatists in an all-out war, Kiev will have to «make huge investments in the reconstruction of the destroyed region and try to enlist the support of anti-Ukrainian mood of the population». And then Donbass will again begin to «pull back» of Ukrainian politics, as it was after the proclamation of independence in 1991, writes Motyl. «Political tensions will increase, there will be a polarization of «East — West [of Ukraine], Kiev will be politically and economically powerless, and Putin will still achieve what he wanted — namely, a deep unstable Ukraine, but he will not have to continue to Fund the simmering conflict in the economically doomed enclave», — says the analyst.

«The status quo that existed the past two years, hardly long hold out, the article says, and therefore, Ukraine needs to develop realistic, taking into account the new geopolitical circumstances of a strategy for the occupied Donbass, and also to prepare for any entity that can prepare her trump and Putin.»

«What would Kiev decide to do first, Ukrainians have to decide what is more important to them: independence or territorial integrity», — concludes the author.

Translation InoPressa

Foreign Policy. Alexander Motyl: Kiev should abandon the Donbas 03.02.2017

Февраль 3rd, 2017 by
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